33 research outputs found

    Spatial finance:practical and theoretical contributions to financial analysis

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    We introduce and define a new concept, ‚ÄėSpatial Finance‚Äô, as the integration of geospatial data and analysis into financial theory and practice, and describe how developments in earth observation, particularly as the result of new satellite constellations, combined with new artificial intelligence methods and cloud computing, create a plethora of potential applications for Spatial Finance. We argue that Spatial Finance will become a core future competency for financial analysis, and this will have significant implications for information markets, risk modelling and management, valuation modelling, and the identification of investment opportunities. The paper reviews the characteristics of geospatial data and related technology developments, some current and future applications of Spatial Finance, and its potential impact on financial theory and practice

    A review of commercialisation mechanisms for carbon dioxide removal

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    The deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) needs to be scaled up to achieve net zero emission pledges. In this paper we survey the policy mechanisms currently in place globally to incentivise CDR, together with an estimate of what different mechanisms are paying per tonne of CDR, and how those costs are currently distributed. Incentive structures are grouped into three structures, market-based, public procurement, and fiscal mechanisms. We find the majority of mechanisms currently in operation are underresourced and pay too little to enable a portfolio of CDR that could support achievement of net zero. The majority of mechanisms are concentrated in market-based and fiscal structures, specifically carbon markets and subsidies. While not primarily motivated by CDR, mechanisms tend to support established afforestation and soil carbon sequestration methods. Mechanisms for geological CDR remain largely underdeveloped relative to the requirements of modelled net zero scenarios. Commercialisation pathways for CDR require suitable policies and markets throughout the projects development cycle. Discussion and investment in CDR has tended to focus on technology development. Our findings suggest that an equal or greater emphasis on policy innovation may be required if future requirements for CDR are to be met. This study can further support research and policy on the identification of incentive gaps and realistic potential for CDR globally

    Attenuated CSF-1R signalling drives cerebrovascular pathology

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    Cerebrovascular pathologies occur in up to 80% of cases of Alzheimer's disease; however, the underlying mechanisms that lead to perivascular pathology and accompanying blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption are still not fully understood. We have identified previously unreported mutations in colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) in an ultra-rare autosomal dominant condition termed adult-onset leucoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids and pigmented glia (ALSP). Cerebrovascular pathologies such as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and perivascular p-Tau were some of the primary neuropathological features of this condition. We have identified two families with different dominant acting alleles with variants located in the kinase region of the CSF-1R gene, which confer a lack of kinase activity and signalling. The protein product of this gene acts as the receptor for 2 cognate ligands, namely colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) and interleukin-34 (IL-34). Here, we show that depletion in CSF-1R signalling induces BBB disruption and decreases the phagocytic capacity of peripheral macrophages but not microglia. CSF-1R signalling appears to be critical for macrophage and microglial activation, and macrophage localisation to amyloid appears reduced following the induction of Csf-1r heterozygosity in macrophages. Finally, we show that endothelial/microglial crosstalk and concomitant attenuation of CSF-1R signalling causes re-modelling of BBB-associated tight junctions and suggest that regulating BBB integrity and systemic macrophage recruitment to the brain may be therapeutically relevant in ALSP and other Alzheimer's-like dementias

    Focussing on B&Bs: the unacceptable growth of emergency B&B placement in Dublin.

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    Accommodating the homeless in Bed & Breakfasts (B&Bs) is an unacceptable, unhealthy, and expensive short-term solution to housing shortage. Research reports demonstrate the ill-health effects of living in such accommodation. This research was undertaken in response to concern by Focus Ireland and others that the use of B&B accommodation for emergency purposes was increasing, and that the time spent by those placed in B&Bs was lengthening. This long-term use of B&Bs has been proven to have adverse effects on those using them, effecting health, stability of family life and their isolation from local communities and families. The majority of those using B&Bs are lone-parent or two-parent families with children (57%), with a significant minority single adults (32%). Thirty-two percent of homeless households cited the parental home as their last permanent residence, highlighting the dependence of many households on accommodation sharing. Almost 41% cited local authority housing and privately rented accommodation as their last permanent residence. Family conflicts were cited as the main reason for becoming homeless, followed closely by drug and alcohol addiction, indicating that a substantial proportion of people placed in B&Bs also require some form of support to overcome substance misuse. In 1990 the Eastern Health Board (EHB) placed just five households into emergency B&Bs at a cost of £520. In 1999 this figure had risen to 1,202 households at a cost of £4.7 million. The length of placement rose from an average of 12 nights in 1992 to 81 nights in 1999. This is of major concern in that 1,262 of the 2,780 placed were children. Given that long-term B&B accommodation is unacceptable the report calls for urgent long-term social housing and calls for a full and speedy implementation of the Planning and Development Bill

    Dublin 17 Early School Leaver Initiative progress report 1998-2001.

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    Statistics show that in the mid 1990s only 10% of the students from the Dublin 17 area went on to third level education. This is one of the lowest levels of third level entry nationally. When the Department of Education and Science launched the Early School Leaver Initiative (ESLI) in 1998, schools saw this as an opportunity to attempt to address the problems of school attendance, school participation and early school leaving in the early years of the post-primary cycles. This was achieved by cooperation between schools and local statutory, voluntary and business interests in the area. Since 1999 the Dublin 17 ESLI has been working with over 100 children from the Bonnybrook, Darndale and Priorswood areas to help break the cycle of disadvantage that is perpetuated by poor educational performance and early school leaving. The initiative engages with a group of targeted children who are at risk of leaving school early through an integrated services approach and the provision of additional supports for the targeted young people and their families. This report outlines the services provided including art therapy, after school clubs, breakfast clubs, counselling, parent training courses, parent events and teacher training. The figures show that 60% of targeted students showed improved attendance, 17% improved their attendance substantially and all 24 students who transferred to post primary in September 1999 are still attending school. Pupils targeted also showed improved behaviour and increased motivation, with improvement in pupils' attitude towards their peers and the sense of ownership of the projects they are involved in

    Evaluating the impacts of legacy infrastructure and stranded assets on energy markets and utilities in low carbon energy systems

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    This thesis contributes improvements to the modelling methods and evidence base for developing low-carbon policy measures and investment strategy. Techno-economic energy system models are integrated into investment appraisal frameworks to support policy and investment analysis. Beginning with a review of the literature on stranded assets; risks to gas infrastructure, subsequent impacts on energy markets and methods of measuring stranded assets, particularly the impacts of stranded assets on corporate debt, are highlighted as areas for further research. Consequently, gas infrastructure is analysed in two parts and at a national and European level. The first part questions whether there is a role for a gas network in a low carbon energy system by analysing its expected utilisation and subsequent tariffs. Next, both gas-fired power plants and gas transmission networks are evaluated based on their impacts on the harmonisation objectives of energy markets in Europe in 2030. Finally, the utilities operating this infrastructure are assessed under a novel investment framework. This framework measures the financial capacity that utilities have to transition to European net zero carbon targets, by proxy of their credit rating. Concluding that in all instances the financial risks arising from these fossil fuel infrastructures and climate policy targets could be mitigated if timely prudent management of these assets was pursued

    Non-Episode-Dependent Assessment of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation through Measurement of RR Interval Dynamics and . . .

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    A method is presented for classifying a single lead surface electrocardiogram recording from a Holter monitor as being from a subject with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) or not. The technique is based on first assessing the likelihood of 30-min segments of electrocardiogram (ECG) being from a subject with PAF, and then combining these per-segment likelihoods to form a per-subject classification. The per-segment assessment is based on the output of a supervised linear discriminant classifier (LDC) which has been trained using known data from the Physionet Atrial Fibrillation Prediction Database (which consists of two hundred 30-min segments of Holter ECG, taken from 53 subjects with PAF, and 47 without). One of two LDCs is used depending on whether there is a significant correlation between observed low-frequency and high-frequency spectral power in the RR power spectral density over the 30-min segment. If there is high correlation, then the LDC uses spectral features calculated over a 10-min window; in the low-correlation case, both spectral features and atrial premature contractions are used as features. The classifier was tested for its ability to distinguish PAF and non-PAF segments using three independent data sets (representing a total of 1370 segments from 50 subjects). The cumulative sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy on a per-segment basis were 43.0, 99.3, and 80.5%, respectively on these independent test sets. By combining the results of segment classification, a per-subject classification into PAF and non-PAF classes was performed. For the 50 subjects in the independent data sets, the sensitivity and specificity of the per-subject classifier were 100%

    Bridging the gap between healthcare professions' regulation and practice: the "lived experience" of community pharmacists in Ireland following regulatory change

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    Background: Reforms to models of health and care regulation internationally have adapted to address the challenges associated with regulating healthcare professionals. Pharmacists in Ireland entered a new era of regulation with the enactment of the Pharmacy Act in 2007 which significantly updated the law regulating pharmacy in Ireland and expanded the regulatory scope considerably. An earlier study in 2017 examined the experiences of 20 community pharmacists of the Act. This follow-up study aimed to expand the scope of the original study to all community pharmacists in Ireland, to report their "lived experience" of the regulatory model introduced by the Act, assessing its impact on their professional practice using the principles of "better regulation". Methods: Survey methodology was used to assess the perception of all community pharmacists registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland of the Act, as implemented, on their practice using an experimental design based on the seven principles of "Better Regulation". Descriptive statistics analyzed quantitative responses while answers from open-ended questions were analyzed using a combination of a modified framework analysis and a qualitative content analysis. Results: Respondents agreed that the Act was necessary, although its implementation by the regulator was largely not viewed as fulfilling the remaining "Better Regulation" principles of being effective, proportional, consistent, agile, accountable and transparent. In particular, its proportionality was questioned. This resulted in pharmacists perceiving that their professional competency to act in the best interests of their patients was not appropriately acknowledged by the regulator, which in turn compromised their ability to provide optimal care for their patients. Conclusion: While healthcare professional regulation must primarily be concerned with public protection, it must also have regard to its impact on those delivering healthcare services. The findings highlight the challenge internationally of balancing rigidity and flexibility in professional health and care regulation, and the importance of a regulatory conversation occurring between those regulating and those regulated. This would serve to promote mutual learning and understanding to create a responsive approach to regulation, underpinned by mutual trust, effective risk assessment and adherence to the principles of "Better Regulation".</p
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